Nottingham CEO to step down

Nottingham CEO to step down

Nottingham Building Society's chief executive David Marlow has agreed to put a plan in place for his exit sometime next year.

Marlow has sat at Nottingham’s helm for more than ten years, a period he highlighted in today's (July 29) half year results as “book-ended by the financial crisis and a global pandemic”.

He joined the lender's board in 2006, before becoming chief executive in 2011.

He said: “The board and I have been in discussions regarding the long-term leadership of the society. We have agreed to work to a plan that will see me step down from my role during 2022.”

It comes as Nottingham edged out of the red in the first half of 2021, landing a profit after tax of £4.9m following its £7.2m loss last year.

The lender had suffered from a fall in net interest and fee income in 2020, compounded by 3,000 members deferring payments and a need to “remain cautious” across its lending portfolio.

But activity in the housing market, which hit new highs this year, guided Nottingham back to profitability.

It processed more than £500m in mortgage applications in the first half of 2021, up by more than a third on the same period last year with completions also up 18 per cent. Mortgage assets currently sit at £3bn.

The lender also said it was able to release some of the provisions it made for potential losses in 2020, as its arrears ratio remains at 0.19 per cent. At the end of June, 44 accounts were in more than three months of arrears.

It added the “vast majority” of the 3,000 members supported with mortgage payment deferrals last year had now “returned to making payments as normal”, with “only a handful of arrangements now in place”.  

The mutual society said a “clear highlight” in the first six months of this year was the growth in younger members saving into a lifetime Isa.

Compared to a year ago, balances were up more than fourfold at the end of June, jumping from £55m to £250m. These balances, held by 50,000 of its members, underpinned first-time buyers' efforts to purchase a home, it said.

As well as mortgages, the society offers savings accounts, estate agency services, home insurance and financial planning.

The lender concluded it has “a good pipeline of business heading into the second half” of 2020. 

It is also continuing to invest in its technology, having announced its partnership with Mortgage Advice Bureau and Belvoir Financial Services last month, which will see it offer digital-led mortgage advice through its new Beehive Money app “to be launched later this year”.  

Meanwhile Marlow said the process to appoint his successor was underway.

The lender is currently in the midst of “fundamentally reshaping” to keep up with a “newly emerging world”, according to the outgoing chief executive.

“It will be important that we continue to focus on this and be ready for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the remainder of 2021 and beyond,” Marlow concluded.